21 Jan

When I surrender my heart to God, I can expect a relationship to develop; a transformation to occur.  When I read His Word, I can expect to know more about Him, His will and His counsel.  When I pray from my heart and be still before Him, I can expect to know Him more deeply, and when I experience struggle or hardship, I can expect He is working all things for my good.

But what about my expectations of others or their expectations of me? 

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
 than to trust in humans.
Psalms 118:8

In my flesh, I am bound to disappoint you; and in your flesh, you are bound to disappoint me.  Yes, Christ in me, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27) empowers me to be faithful.  But, I am still learning to live out my identity in Christ, as He transforms me with ever-increasing glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Jesus, Himself, refused to put His expectations in people. 

“…many people… believed in his name.  But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for He knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for He knew what was in each person.”  John 2:23-25

Although many people “believed in His name,” Jesus didn’t “entrust Himself to them.”  He knew they were human.  In hind sight, we see that even His closest friends and followers would desert Him at the cross. 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt deserted more than a few times, but as I walk in relationship with others, Jesus invites me to rest from expectations.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

I remember all too well, having unrealistic expectations of the church.  I once expected God’s people to be perfect.  I might not have said that, but that is how I lived.  I placed the leaders so high upon a pedestal, that when they didn’t live up to what I expected of them, I left the church for a number of years, declaring I wanted no part of hypocrisy. 

When I returned to the Lord, and subsequently, to His people, I struggled with self-contempt, because no matter how hard I tried, I knew I didn’t belong on that pedestal either. 

What an exhausting way to live!

There is something very freeing about letting go of expectations.  I can take a deep breath and relax, knowing God has released me from striving to be perfect, by clothing me in the perfection of Christ.  He has released my brothers and sisters in Christ, as well.  Praise God!  I can be me and let you be you!

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 

When I let go of my expectations of others, I can love each person as God loves me, with no strings attached. And, when I let go of trying to meet the expectations of others, I experience the “rest” Jesus offers.    Rest from fear.  Rest from regret.  Rest from disappointment.  Rest.

But, what does He expect of me?   

Then (the crowd) asked Him, “’What must we do to do the works God requires?’  Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.”’  John 6:28-29

To experience rest in Jesus, requires that I BELIEVE He has already met God’s every expectation.  And, the deeper I experience His love, the deeper my love grows for Him.  

What does this love look like?

“…This is love for God: to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome….”  1 John 5:3 

What does He command?

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”  John 15:17

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:37-40

Jesus invites me into relationship.  He invites me to trust Him, to experience His love, and share that love with others.   

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 

* The email will not be published on the website.